Month: August 2014

Scalar Absence

WTC 2

(World Trade Center Memorial, New York, NY. 2014. Image by Greg Gordon Canaras)

A Tribute to Urban Form as a Memorial of Labor, and to the Unions of Construction :

The World Trade Center Memorial reflects the re-composition of human emotion in the form of two massive voids; an absence inscribed in The City. A collective consciousness has been solidified through the Public’s awareness of this ‘Zero Signifier’ of Urbanity “interrupted”, where spirits are layered like a palimpsest across the terrain of the urban landscape. The “Memory Objects” of The Towers, now marked in emptiness, once contained the contents of humanity positioned in time and space. These contents, over time, were dissipated within the cultural geography of The City and in society. These contents were solidified once again, in the Form of absence, as repositories of memory, and through the memorialization of the Human Condition, continually oscillating between memory past and memory reconstructed.

Blue Portal on Pier 42

Blue 4

 (Blue Portal, Pier 42, New York, NY. Image by Greg Gordon Canaras)

Post Pic of the Day: As part of the “Paths to Pier 42” project, which brings temporary Architecture, Art and Design to parkland awaiting more permanent installation, Blue Portal is one of many smaller scale interventions in this otherwise derelict part of the East River Park. Blue Portal invites curiosity amongst parkgoers and Urban explorers alike. It is a playful jolt of color which invites those wandering by to pass through and into the garden within.

Resources:

For information on Blue Portal and the Paths to Pier 42 project, click Here.

For a Google map locator of Pier 42 in the East River Park, click Here.

World Trade Rising

(Time Lapse of One World Trade, New York, NY. 2014. Video by Benjamin Rosamond)

A stunning time lapse video by photographer Benjamin Rosamond captures the construction evolution of New York’s greatest addition of late in full Glory. Click and watch the tower rise amongst the City Skyline; A visual treat of the Everchanging City.

The 5 Pointz Follies

5Pointz-3

(5 Pointz Follies, 22-24 Jackson Ave. Queens. Renderings by HTO Architect)

The Urban Critic: There is bad design, and then there is offensive design. In the case of the 5 Pointz Follies, this proposal crosses both lines. In the context of building Big in a Big City, a higher level of expectation must be set for our Next Generation of Urban Spaces.

The location of this 2 dimensional cartoon extrusion proposed pair of buildings was once the renowned nexus of graffiti artists, whom came from around the world to practice their art. The old, colorful industrial warehouse that displayed the works of experimental artists were left in a raw state of decay; A 3 dimensional canvas of Urban expression. More recently, this canvas was decommissioned and turned over to the Forces of Change currently sweeping through Our City. These forces, now coined as Hyper-Gentrification, have had mixed results, though oftentimes more negative, across the vastness which comprises our Cityscape. Issues such as class displacement, societal segregation and political favoritism rear their ugly head; In Form, they appear as “cartoon set” facades, lacking real depth or interest. There is little to no intrigue in this new format of the Big Box Manhattan Development.

As mentioned in Gordon’s prior post The Beasts of The Westside, lamenting the loss of an entire Westside block in Chelsea, this type of development will continue to blast New York’s core with empty “Streets of Nothingness”, similar to America’s suburban strip retail corridors of Same-Ness; Buildings that can be anywhere, lacking in identity or connection to place. The 5 Pointz Follies, a rendering without context, is a development lost in this blank Void.

5Pointz Graffiti

(The Graffiti Mecca that was once 5 Pointz, Queens, New York. Demolished 2014)

Gordon’s Urban Morphology continues to take the position that the largest developments in Our City require the greatest attention to detail. These houses of High-Rise Cards deserve a public process of opinion which contributes to better communities, as the Hyper-Gentrification process continues unabated. Such processes have been successful in cities like Boston, where the built environment is viewed as an artifact. An artifact that is expected to improve over time and with age; as people have been given the chance to participate in the melding of their Urban Space.

Our Metropolis has become complacent when it comes to developers and their steamrolling of our City’s history. This unabated process continuing must be disrupted in a manner which allows for a space, perhaps a counter-forum, where Expression as Activism in the interest of maintaining our Sacred places can gain traction against Big Developers, and their Plastic Towers rising throughout Any-City, USA.

Referenced Offenders:

David Wolkoff Developer

YIMBY (Pro-New York Crushing Development, Regardless of what it is)

22-24 Jackson Avenue

Between Metropolis and The Ocean

Riis

(Parking Lot, Jacob Riis Park, New York, NY. July 2014. Photo by Greg Gordon Canaras)

Somewhere  between the confines of The City and The Great Ocean lies the in-between, silent and pictorial. Vast open spaces punctuated by structures placed by the intervention of man. On the fringe of The Great Metropolis; the parking lot near Jacob Riis Park, and its connecting causeway is the subject of our pictorial shot. This spit of land and adjacent Urban Beach is, and has been, one of the quieter but wonderful respites within our Urban milieu.